Brain scans offer real revelation

16th September 2005 at 01:00
Rogue "academics" often challenge so-called orthodox opinion, but normally they are not as ill-informed as Professor Julian Elliott seems to be.

It is recognised that dyslexia is a genetically determined neuro-biological condition and that there are well-developed tests for an early diagnosis.

Professor Elliott must be aware that it comes as a great relief to a child to know that it is not his fault that he has difficulty in reading. His self-confidence is given an enormous boost. He will realise that although fluency will take some time in coming, it is achievable.

Professor Elliott states that "advances in genetic and brain studies may one day help us to make meaningful distinctions, but we're still a long way away."

I suggest that he acquaint himself with Professor Sally Shaywitz's book, Overcoming Dyslexia. She includes sophisticated brain scans showing non-impaired readers activate neural systems mostly in the left side of the brain, whereas dyslexics underactivate the reading systems in the back of the brain and tend to overactivate frontal areas. Professor Elliott should be made aware of the damage he is in danger of doing.

Dai Hancock. 66 Brackendale Avenue Pitsea, Essex

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